Scanning Tunneling Microscope
The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) revolutionized our ability to manipulate solid surfaces the size of atoms.
Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer of IBM’s Zurich Research Center were awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the STM.
And the STM, in turn, has led to other discoveries on a “nano” scale, playing an essential role in the blossoming of nanotechnology.
It was vital in the 1990s discovery of fullerenes, which led to the development of the carbon nanotube.
The Nobel committee said the invention opened up “entirely new fields... for the study of the structure of matter.”
Explore this Icon of Progress